How WhatsApp Destroyed a Village

How Whatsapp Destroyed A Village

Source: Pranav Dixit and Ryan Mac
Affiliation: Buzzfeed News

This article discusses how false information about child abductions circulating WhatsApp in India caused at least 29 deaths from people attacking innocent outsiders who they perceived as threats. The article dives deep into one such instance, in which villagers of the rural village Rainpada killed 5 innocent outsiders, thinking they might be threats to their children. Included in the discussion is WhatsApp's rise to popularity in this rural village with low literacy rates and only recent access to Internet, reasons why these Indian citizens are susceptible to false information, and why WhatsApp's privacy controls make false information hard to trace.

Keywords: Misinformation/Disinformation , Social Media , Tech Ethics